tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC February 16, 2013 7:00am-9:00am PST
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with white house senior adviser valerie jarrett. and the case for $9 an hour. but first for those who are keeping track as you can tell by our cute lilt bug, it is the mhp's first anniversary. what a year it has been. good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. in 1919, a young army colonel, along with hundreds of his fellow soldiers boarded a convoy to embark on the first ever u.s. army coast-to-coast motor transport train averaging a mere 5 miles per hour, it took the caravan two months to reach san francisco, driving along the local lanes and the state roads, but they were in such disrepair that the soldiers had to fix 88 bridges themselves just to complete the journey.
years later, that same young soldier, dwight d. eisenhower, found himself again on the road, but this time as a general commanding the allied forces in world war ii. along the pristine freshly built roads of the german autobon. troops and eisenhower took full advantage of the roads built by nazi germany and using them to defeat the axis forces, and the super highway left a lasting impression on the general and one that would grow into the grand plan once he became president. even before the election, he envisioned a national highway system 40 miles long that would be quote as necessary to defense as it is to the national economy and the personal safety. as president, eisenhower set out to gather national support complete with a made-for-tv style campaign ad. >> in this century, america has become a nation on wheels.
we ride on wheels to work, to shop, to play, to go about any place we want to go. we depend on wheels to bring us the food we eat and the clothes we wear and the things that we use, but when we depend on wheels, we depend also on highways. >> but of course, as all things in washington tend to go, the 34th president struggled with the lack of consensus. governors, democrat and republican, fought eisenhower e on with what they called his plan for the biggest federal aid programs, calling the republican president to task for running away from his staunch opposition to federal encroachment on state sovereignty. it was in fact the democratic senator from virginia, harry byrd, who tried to block eisenhower's plan, and byrd was known as a pay as you go man, and he had a wild hatred for debt. after a lot of coalition building president dwightize n
eisenhow eisenhower's dream became a reality with an allocation of $41 billion to build miles of road across the country. eisenhower found himself leading an economy that had dipped into the worst recession since the great depression, and boy, he was happy to have the federal highways project well under way. >> this is not a dream. it is not a visionary project for your consideration. work is going on right now. and it will go on more rapidly and more effectively each month passing until the job has been completed. >> by the 1960s, an estimated 1 in 7 americans was employed through the automobile industry, and what was supposed to be a 13-year project had extended to create almost 43,000 miles of standardized roads, and 54,666
bridges cross cutting 1.6 million acres of land. finally being completed in 1991. this week, echoing president eisenhower's vision of a truly united states, our current president called for a reinvestment in the nation's crumbling infrastructure. >> america's energy sector is just one part of the aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. ask any ceo where they'd rather locate and hire, a country with the deteriorating roads and bridges or one with high speed rail and internet. so, tonight, i propose a "fix it first" program to put people to work as soon as possible on the most urgent repairs like the nearly 60,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. >> this the most e cent
recession, 260 million construction jobs were lost, and our unemployment is stuck at 8.7%, and with the sequestration looming, the budget office released a project sthaun the gdp will tighten because of the mandates of the sequestration. and in fact, the cbo found that the growth would improve by 1.1% if it weren't for the planned cuts. perhaps heed the advice of an economist before president obama orren before president eisenhower e's time, john maynard keyes who warned that the boom and not the slump is the right time for austerity. with me is economist lawrence michelle, professor of the po policy institute, and dorn lord at columbia university and a fellow at the roosevelt institute, and cnbc contributor
ari, and also joined by former senior adviser by rick perry. i have a table full of guys, and this never happens on the mhp show, but i am fascinated by this idea that it is growth and in fact, a courageous growth experiment that may be what we need in our lean times. lawrence, talk to me about the sequester, any reason to cut right now? >> well, i agree, melissa, that the priority that this nation is to lower the unemployment, because right now it is higher than worst moments of the last two recession, and according to the cbo, according to the end of 2015, the unemployment rate will be one percentage less. when it is that much at the national level we know it is double that for the blacks and putting downward pressure on the wages for nidle class workers and the low-wage workers and we know that incomes have fallen
already by 9% in this recession. still, unlikely to recover and we maintain unemployment at the levels we have. to me, the absolute priority and i throw my weight in there with lord cain's, ekeynes, and this priority that we can't not do. we calculated the sequestration based on this year's jobs. >> and ari, it feels like the deficit reduction that we had during the clinton years, and you have high borrowing rates and that is not the circumstances that we are finding ourselves in. is there any reason to have an angst about the deficit right now? >> no! one of the central republican arguments early on is that if we do this the interest rates will
go up and that is the problem, but that is not the case with the drama going down in washington. that is why you have to take a step back and what the republicans have done well and obviously a long term proposition as you showed with byrd demonizing debt decades ago is this notion that debt is a bad word. i remember when liberal was a bad word in washington and those days have finally ended as you heard "the new york times" headline of the president's liberal inaugural address and no shame in that. >> damion is spitting liberal. >> and the idea that debt is a bad thing is insane. if you look at the bond market, it is a place where people buy and sell debt. if you look at mark zuckerburg is who is successful, he just got a mortgage which is a 30-year debt proposition, because whether you are a business, a household or a government, especially when you are a government, you want to take the proposition that you
need to spend money to do things, and later, often make it back at a higher yield. that is the whole concept. so this idea that debt is a bad thing is wrong. >> and now, as you listened to ari say that debt is not a bad word -- >> he is my friend and we just disagreed. >> well, the roads project was earth-moving and more than what we did in the panama canal, and moving billions of tons of earth, but it goes on until 1991, and this is the we do enormous things, and good for the country to have a recognition of the economic and security aspects of it. for the republican party for the all of the moments now, they used to be a party of the big things and now it is a party of no, and party of making all of the big cuts and not do something on this, and can you guys regain something on that? is. >> well, back to the republican
president of eisenhower e wwho the country behind him, and also a defense issue to move sections from one part of the country to another. and this is a bold thing and general and won a war and everything was set up for him. i disagree with the debt. because that is what is worrying most of my republican friends. the amount of debt that we are piling up. >> but it did not bother you when you were racking it up? >> yes, we were kicked out of it because of it and then kicked back in because of spending. and the republicans can't say no, but they have to offer solutions. i agree with newt gingrich, because you can't say no, no, no and looking at bill clinton and coming together to solve big problem problems. >> well, i heard you say that
create a deficit and the new spend spending, but that is the myth, right? this is not some new spending, dorian, that is under president obama, because that is a partisan lie, because it does not come from. >> no, it comes from are the great recession and comes from the economy falling dramatically and that is where the debt came from in the last three years and you add in a $4 trillion war that we didn't need to fight, and tax cuts that no republican was against when it came to debt, how much the tax cuts would cost and how much the war would cost, and the silence was deafening for years and years, and years. but we have an empirical example of what is happening in terms of the austerity and that is europe. if you look at the countries in the eurozone, they have administered austerity measures and for the first time last year they experienced no growth. we see the youth unemployment rates of 30%, 40%, and 60% in those countries.
there's the example if you'd like. or we can continue down the road of much more money in investments and infrastructure and education. >> i have to say even though we are in the lenten season of sacrifice, this is a time for growing and i will say fat tuesday, mardi gras on this one. when we come back, i want to talk about how senator elizabeth warren took the whole country to econ 101 this week. >> happy anniversary to you, melissa, and the producers of the show. one year of information and inspiration. we love it. keep it going. hmm, we need a ne. ♪ that'll save the day. ♪ so will bounty select-a-size. it's the smaller powerful sheet. the only one with trap + lock technology. look! one select-a-size sheet of bounty is 50% more absorbent
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street bank to trial? i want to note on this, that there are district attorneys and u.s. attorneys who are out there ev everyday squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds and taking them to trial in order to make an exampleple as they put it. i'm really concerned that too big to fail has become too big for trial. >> senator elizabeth warren came out swinging at her first major senate banking committee thursday asking hard questions of regulators of the financial industry and it was vintage warren who first gained national attention because of the criticism of the deregulation that led to financial collapse, and boy, we need her, because wall street is growing again. the front pages of both "the new york times" and the "wall street journal" yesterday touted the spending spree unleash iing the big businesses pent-up desire to burn some of the cash. thursday, $40 billion of deals
struck to bring the value of mergers and acquisitions deals since january to $160 billion. and they are following in the footsteps of an aggressive market left up on the s&p 500. and we got into the good times here at universal. look at the comcast nbc universal. so while mom and dad are wringing the hands, corporate america is grabbing the dollars and throwing them out of the window on the bigger and the t better and the growing stuff. so i feel like i look at this and i think that o okay, if we are meant to be behaving like corporate america, corporate america is done with the austerity thing, and into the big acquisitions. >> well what is really wrong is that we have the highest share of corporate profits in decades. that is a sign of an economy
that is greatly distorted to have companies do so well when people are doing so poorly. we should be having an economy where they work together. the reason why companies are buying each other and buying their own stocks, all that sort of stuff is that they are not investing in production or hiring people, because there is a shortage of demand and they need to be producing more, but they are not producing anymore, because people are not buying stuff. we need people to buy more stuff, and then government can buy more stuff, and that is the reference you were making earlier about lord keynes. >> and when we look at the unemployment rate, it is at this point being driven by public sector jobs. so kate, this is a thing that the republicans are not always honest when we look at the recovery and private sector jobs are up, and we have been adding to them, but the public sector jobs are down. down by 627,000 since june of 2009. so we keep hearing that the government does not create jobs,
but at the fact, it does, and in the moment, it is the government shedding the jobs to create the crisis. >> let's go down to the municipal areas and the counties where the job losses have been massive because of the loss of revenues whether it is income taxes or revenue taxes. they either have so much debt they can't afford anymore, so i blame it on a large loom iing recession, and larry, you agree, a lot of the complex issues. >> well, by the banks and the deregulation, and by, i think that the fundamentalist economics that got us here. and now they are asking the american people to pay the price, and pay down the debt quickly and get it down to a low level in ten years from now, and what they are saying is that we have to sacrifice public services to pay off the consequence of what the banks did to us, and without actually making the banks pay for much.
we could get the revenues that we need in part through a wall street tax and financial tax to close the gap between the taxes on wages and the taxes on income going to property owners and capital income, and that would help a lot, and you know, you are right, the states are obligated to balance the budgets and what the stimulus package did and what we could do is to find a way for the federal government to take on some debt to help ensure that we have firefighters and the teachers that we need. >> yes, but the other problem for the republicans is that they don't like any answers that would help the economy. it sounds sad rhetoric, and i wish it whether or not true, but the fact is when you talk about the unemployment insurance to give people a leg up, gaiagains that. when you talk about people being paid to work in these public sector group, they don't want to
do that and especially it gets real in the military context. >> and a pay freeze on federal employees. >> yes. >> and that is ordinary folks spending the money on the consumer goods if they had the income. >> you don't want to spend on people who have a leg up or people who actually spend on jobs, and they don't want to spend on anything because of the deficit, but you realize there is not an economic plan on the other side. that is what is so strong about the inaugural address, because the president outlined the vision that we are in it together and we have to be there together, and that is a central tenet, and why social insurance is so important on this, and what he is faced with is a political party that feels no obligation to be h involved in the recovery and does not claim to be. that is what is so ridiculous about the deficit. because even if you think it is a problem and i don't think it is as big of a short-term problem as you do, but even if you do, even if you do, the solution is not to start firing
people anymore you have a debt problem, you say, one of sus going to stop working. >> well, there is a moment that you brought up about the president's speech and a moment on tuesday that no one saw coming. we will talk more about that when we come back. my doctor told me calcium is efficiently absorbed in small continuous amounts. citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d with efficient absorption in one daily dose. citracal slow release. if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower
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adviser valerie jarrett and asked her what it would take to make the proposal actual policy. >> in all of the communities, we have people who are living in poverty, and what the president is saying, in this country, as great as our country, if you are willing to work hard, you should be able to live above the poverty line, and making $14,900 is not enough to raise a family on and so he thinks it is important to raise it up. it is helpful for the family and 15 million americans will benefit from it, but it is good for the economy, because if they have extra money in the pocket, they will spend it, and that is held p pful to the -- helpful t the economy, and so businesses will see people coming in with a little extra cash to spend, and we are hoping that with the people behind it, it will put pressure on the congress to do something. >> and we have heard the counter argument that raising the federal minimum wage will reduce the number of jobs available and
money in the pocket. that is what most people want. that is what he is fighting for. >> to help us understand the impact of a raise in the minimum wage is chris. you support a aggressive minimum wage, and why? >> well shgs s, it is wonderful the president has put raising the minimum wage on the agenda, and it is long overdue, because the minimum wage has declined in value for the last 30 or 40 years that almost any increase is welcomed, but the reality is that $9 will not lift the working families from poverty or build a strong floor across the bottom of the labor market which is where the jobs are growing. so we will be supporting legislation that is senator
harkin and representative miller will be introducing that will call for raising the minimum wage to $10.10 which comes closer to restoring the minimum wage to the historic value. it will pump a lot of stimulus back into the economy. it will help 28 million low income workers and most of the workers are in families with relatively low incomes or incomes below the median income. most of them are adults, and half of them work full time and they depend upon the earnings to support themselves and the families, and this is -- >> yis, i wanted to underline that, chris. you were just talking about in the recovery how it is the bottom level jobs that have been the ones that have come back and showed us that in the context of the recession, we lost these middle income jobs and the jobs that have come back online have been often low-wage jobs. so is that an indication that this sort of $ 9 or the $10.10
that you feel is closer to getting people out of poverty, but that is what you see in the context of raising the minimum wages? >> yes, because the wages for the low wage workers have been falling and real wages falling for past three decades, and that was accelerated in the downturn. as you noted most of the job growth in the recovery has been in the low wage sector and that continues a trend for the past several decades, and we need to do things to take affirmative measures to lift the wage floor across the bottom of the labor market. that is where the job growth is occurring now and job growth is projected to occur over the next decade. unless we take actions to lift the wage floor, we will have more and more workers and their families slipping from the middle-class into poverty. the bottom line is that people who work for a living ought to make a living from work. there is nothing in the economy
right now that is driving wages up. we need these policy interventions. >> but the correlation is inflation effect, and job killing effect in relation to raising the minimum wage, and can you address those issue sths. >> yes, this has always been the claim since 1938 when the minimum wage was first passed and we were told that we were moving toward socialism with the minimum wage, but the reality is that the very best research that has looked at 250 paired counties that are contiguous counties in states with differing minimum wages, and that has controlled for things like regional and economic shocks and low wage job growth and that research has found that there is no job loss effect associa associated with raising the minimum wage, nor does raising the minimum wage necessarily lead to inflation. there are plenty of ways that employers with absorb the cost of increased wages.
productivity is higher and the turnover is reduced and greater efficiencies associated with the higher wages and particularly in the low wage sectors of the economy where so much of the work is based on the people's attitudes and people's performance. and people's job attendance. >> thank you, christine owens. i am excited that the president has put it on the agenda in a way that hopefully we will see some movement. and the one graph that 1,000 speeches could never make. [ fe] research suggests cell health plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+. we all work remotely so this is a big deal, our first full team gathering! i wanted to call on a few people. ashley, ashley marshall...
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has flat lined and income has fallen. >> well, melissa, this is an example that ideology has trumped actual empirical evidence. we have study after study that shows the employment effects of raising a minimum wage don't pan out the way that right-wing economics would tell us it does. so, let me give you an example. san francisco, we might think of san francisco as a good job zone, but the minimum wage city wide is $ 1 an hour and when they read it, i everybody said that the sky would fall and san francisco as far i can tell, it is doing well and with with $11 city minimum wage roughly, san francisco's economy has grown faster that on the neighboring cities and the counties, and so it is not true empirically, when you look at the evidence. and the last thing i want to say about this is that christine owens mentioned that the minimum wage was passed in 1938 and the other part of the law was to end child labor, and -- >> right.
>> if i don't have child labor, i will go out of business, and this is just not true. >> and i am so glad that dorian said that, and we are on mhp and the one-year anniversary, and real talk, so nobody is against the minimum wage anymore. they like to sound principled so that the conservatives position themselves that way. and we have raised the minimum wage 13 times since 1938. and nobody says that you should stand up to work -- >> well, except for janitors. >> and weakening the child labor law. and there is nothing to be done, but that at the margins, yes, people say, well, 15 versus 16 or $6 versus $8, but the bottom line is that we need minimum, because otherwise, you thrive a society that has a basically indentured servitude that denies
the concept. a -- consent. and the thing about the no child labor laws, is that we don't want maximums, but this is the about the values and republicans have tried to find a binary opposition, because it is difficult to say, that you are just against a little bit more money for the poorest people who are working and have jobs. >> if we have empirical evidence of the long and historical and ethical position that ari is giving us, but in the break, kate, you said experience as a small business owner, and this is not my experience. >> well, there's small business chaos out there anyway. i'm a kid who started to work at 14 years old shining shoes and working at my father's auto parts store, and i understood the value of the dollar and the minimum wage which was $2 in my beginning career. but the federal government will try to make it better, but i agree that the minimum wage is
going to be a populist issue and raise it to $9, but i remember what happened to me when i ran a business for 34 years, and that was my day job and night job was political activism. but i looked at how to increase the profits. it will make you better as a businessman and they will survive. they will survive in san francisco, and how much more can the government to put these mandates or recommendations. it did throw fire on the tea party's ideas of that it will be government piling it on. >> i want to put this context. since the late 1960s, minimum wage is around 15% less than it was then. the productivity and the economy is 100% greater. and the workers who aret the low-wage end are far more educated now than they were then.
we have an economy that has not benefited most people over three decades. what is important about the minimum wage is that we need to start having standards where the employers are now competing gai against each other as to who can underpay their workers. >> yes. >> and provide and give the least of the workers. so one small employer may have minimum wage workers and when they raise the minimum wage, all of the other small employers in the same industry are going to have to pay the workers more. if one is hurt more than the other, it is because they are competing based on having lower wages. we need to have a labor standard, a wage floor. this is what i disagree with the president somewhat on this, and i think about it as christine owens does, because it is not a poverty thing, because we want to help the low-wage workers, but it is an adult working women's issue, and they live in families of 60th percentile, and
the last thingly say is that as i have been following the research over the last two decades it is less than adult woman's issue, but more male adult issue as men are suffering from low wages. i don't want it to be suffering from the women, but let's talk about what is going on in the economy. >> it is american workers and not just teenagers which is the argument that you will hear about the minimum wage. thank you lawrence michel and everyone else will continue to join us. next, my international letter of the week is going to have international postage, because it is going to rome. >> sorry, i was just reading a great book on beauty and brains about e melissa harris-perry. congratulation, and many years ahead. don't treat cough. they don't?
[ male announcer ] nope, congratulation, and many years ahead. melissa harris-perry. congratulation, and many years ahead. [ angry gibberish ] [ fake coughs ] sorry that was my fault sir. [ male announcer ] alka seltzer plus severe sinus. [ breathes deeply ] ♪ oh, what a relief it is! [ male announcer ] try alka seltzer plus severe sinus day and night for complete relief from your worst sinus symptoms. but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition
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xvith shocked the world with the announcement that on february 28th, he is going to become the first pontiff in nearly 600 years to step down as the leader of the catholic church. pope benedict's resignation c n coincides with the beginning of lent, the 40-day period of self-denial and repentance in which the catholics reflect on the teachings of christ. the pope will be replaced by the end of lent, and no later than easter sunday, so it is important that the cardinals tasked with finding a new pope and leader of faith. my next letter going to the pope. dear, cardinals, it is me, melissa. i remember being taught by a priest from south africa and i sat alongside people from south africa and i remember lay women from the north side of chicago
and then i appreciated the global inclusiveness of the church and despite the differences we shared a genuine engagement of catholicism for social change. as you know, catholicism goes beyond those who hold the reins in vatican city, and the global body of 2.2 billion believers. as one of the most influential irns tugss, the catholic church encompasses those around the world who don't identify with the catholic faith, but benefit from the work of the church and the organizations it has created. the church has been an advocate for the human rights and the dignity of the most marginalized people, and providing care for the sick, and the homes for the homeless, and food for the hungry. you are the largest provider of health care and education. and for students of color
catholic schools are the only affordable alternative for quality education. but cardinals, even as the church has been a channel for good, it has been a conduit for injustice around the world. the doctrine intransigence of the pope being infallible has come at the expense of policies that recognize and address realities in the modern world. women in underdeveloped nations and war torn countries need to have access to contraception, and prevent deaths in childbirth, and yet where the church holds sway over public policy, you and the vatican have undermined any attempt to expand a woman's reproductive freedom and not just in the undeveloped world, but near the united states, that you seek that men
tell women that contraceptive coverage be denied to them, even if they are not catholic. and your reaction to the crimes gai against the priests who committed crimes against children and were not punished. as the next pope, you have a role to set the table for world catholicism and a seat for those women called to the priesthood, and those whose faith is as indelible as the lgbt identi identityings and also a seat for those who have an abortion or those who perform them, and i am not here to dictate to you what catholicism should teach the
follow followers, my husband is and we at the end mass every week. i kneel next to extrooaordinary men and women all around the world to acknowledge that the life of the people around the world is diverse and complicated, and have structures that animate their differences. sincerely, melissa. hi. hi. i'm here to pick up some cacti. it should be under stephens.
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pope benedict the xvith will later this month not only be the first pope to abdicate his post in 600 years, but he will retire from public view. even before we see the cloud of white smoke from the sistine chapel when a new pope is elected, the pope said thursday, he will be hidden from the world as he retires to a life of prayer.
he will go to papal cloistering and he will go to live at his home and then as the home at the v vatican is ren na-- renovated, then he will return there. and we asked what that will look like going forward. we are joined by jesuit father james martin, and also joining me is sister camille who is a commentator for 1010 wens radio here in new york. father, i want to start with you about what becomes possible in this moment. how open is the group of, are the group of cardinals to a different direction for the catholic church? >> well, anything is possible with the holy spirit. they are very open, but what we have to remember is that all of
the cardinals that are currently going to be electing the next pope, and all of the cardinals under 80 were chosen by pope john paul ii or pope benedict, so you will not see a lot of the change, you know, in a lot of the policies, but really once the man becomes pope, anything is possible, because he can do whatever he wants to do. >> and there have been moments where we have seen the popes do extraordinary thing, and obviously vatican ii is the example. and are we at a moment to acknowledge a vatican ii moment, and john paul moment? >> well, the history of the cardinals is like the lightning that stroke the dome a few hours after the pope benedict resigned. anything is possible, but if we could retreat to the essence of pope john the xxiiird who inish y -- initiated the last vatican counsel which so many are not happy with, and we could go back
to the people of god and inviting everyone to look to the levels of the signs of the times that is asked by the matthew gospel and point to the needs of the people longing, and longing to know jesus and feel the loving merciless presence in their lives through the understanding of the sufferings they endure and the help they need. >> this question of sufferings, and i want to talk after we come back from the break, we want to talk about this, but this is ben ticket of two minds and on the one hand, incredible writings about inequality and poverty and even being to the left of anybody in the u.s. on redistribution, but this legacy of child sex abuse. >> he is progressive about income redistribution, and he uses that word and in terms of sex abuse, i would say he is the first pope to meet with victims of sex abuse there.
is an article of the catholic report which is a lefty paper that says that he was appalled by this and tried to push through change. i think that the sex abuse frankly needs to be laid at the doorsteps of the bishops more so than the pope, but he can certainly tet set the tone and the next pope should be strong about the sex abuse and meeting with the victims and listening, and that is the important thing for the next pope to do. sdl >> we will talk about the possibilities of the next pope who will be and there is a betting game online, and of course, there is. please stay with us. we will talk more about this. more nerdland at the top of the hour. >> melissa, you are one of the most brilliant people and i'm so proud that you reason msnbc and fighting for social justice, and
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we are back and continuing the conversation about the future of the catholic church. joining me now are father james martin, jesuit priest and editor at large at american magazine and also with me is sister camille de'arienz soshgs president of the women e's coalition and also joining me are ari melber, and so we were joking at the break, we need the black folks and the jewish folks at the table to talk about it. but this is part of the letter, because the catholic church is one thing for the believer, but the fact is that the catholic church is a global institution that impacts all of us that are in fact not part of the catholic
faith per se, so does the church in some way take that into account as it begins to think about the new directions? >> well, completely. they you need somebody and the cardinals know that you need somebody to speak to the world and not simply catholics, but more importantly to speak to the catholics in other cultures. the center of the church is going toward africa and latin america and asia and if we do get a pope from the developing world, which i hope we do, and that will further influence the world. >> and so if we have a pope of more tolerance of social issues and in other words, we see more conservativism among the leadership of the african catholic traditions. >> and yet more progressivism on some issues.
ca cardinal turkson is hugely popular on the world human rights. >> not so much on the lgbt. >> and also birth control which runs against the catholic principles, but i am not a catholic, but i think that it would be a great thing if somebody could introduce the idea that maybe women have a right to control their reproductive rights and i don't think that is particularly scandalous. >> and those who work for catholic organizations, but who are not themselves catholic plooefr believers. talk to me, sister camille, about the difference of the c r churches because when i was a kid, we didn't have girl altar boys, and tell us about the history of the church. >> well, i have been fighting for more than 40 years for qualified unordained preachers, male and female, and i don't see it happening very quickly, but i do see it happening slowly.
i think that perhaps we should go back to jesus for a little instruction on this and i'm thinking off a story of marks' gospel where jesus was hurrying with a very powerful man by the name of jirus to heal his daughter and woman with a hemorrhage and no status at all said that if i would touch the hem of the garment i would be healed and she succeeded to do that and jesus said stopped and said, who touched me? he could have gone on, but he gave this woman complete attention and allowed her to speak for herself in a public place, and had the more important person wait, and this is a sign to us that to jesus, women and men are equals. it has nothing to do with status. >> how did that get buried somehow? why isn't that story like right at the top of the catholic's greatest hits? i want to know. >> and there's another story, that i want to know, that i took
theology with who was a catholic sister at ctu and the widow who is pleading with ton just king and she says that our problem is that if we imagine that god is the unjust king with whom we are constantly pleading, then god is a remove and regal figure, but what if god is the widow and god is in fact the pleading woman, and just the ability to reimagine the divine as in fact something that is requiring not the power that we think of, you know, human power or world power, but instead, the kind of power that might in fact come through women and the provisions that women hold. >> well, there is a linkage here because you said that you are not catholic and neither am i. i wanted to get that out there. but there is a connection of the scripture and the way jews study and the beautiful document with amazing values, but imperfect
one many people feel, and part of the struggle i think of any pope or any religious lead ser to stay true to the values that we believe are eternal and fundamental, but also try to give leadership and thought and interpretation in a modern and changing world. the area of equal rights for women and people who have different sexual orientation is a fundamental struggle for many religions and catholicism and judaism included. i am reminded of the myth of the owl of minerva but says it is flies at dusk, but flies to late to help anyone, and the question for the pope is he is the owl of m minerva, and that he was not ultimately able to conquer to
the satisfaction of many people, and he has done something that myself have many issues with the pope, but he has done something very important that he is a sort of modern george washington here that he has stepped back as someone who has worked in politics and watched a lot of people who never know when to say when and have no humility, but that to me strikes me as a fundamentally humble act. >> and it shows a lot of spiritual freedom, too, and rare is the person who will relinquish power voluntarily these days. so it is interesting that jesus points to this both backwards and forward and as sister was saying that the jesus is always going out to the marginalized and if jesus were here today -- >> okay. here we go. >> father, that is a great way to start a sentence on television, and works for me every time. >> and to whom would he be going? >> to the poor and the women and the gays and the lesbians and the people who feel distant from the church and sex abuse vick sims and so that the church is called in a sense to return to the roots, but look at the root s to try to impel us forward.
>> thank you, father martin, i am so pleased that you took us to the moment of what would jesus do. it is a great wristband and a great question. thank you, both. continuing up, my one-on-one interview with senior adviser valerie jarrett to the president, and we will come back and in fact not talk what about jesus would do. >> hey, melissa, it is thomas here, and i tell you that the nerdland is the best set, and it is because you have made it like a tiffany's box. much love. ow she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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obama's stop in chicago to attend the funeral of 15-year-old hydeia pendleton who was shot and killed a week after performing for the president at the inauguration. but then the president's words of gun violence which have made frequent appearances since the shooting in newtown, and we heard him talk about another subject which is a topic but until recently conspicuously absent from the presidential rhetoric. >> today, a family that works hard with minimum wage salary still lives beneath the poverty level. chicago is full of factories that have been packed up, and the pockets of poverty where adults are still looking for the first job. >> yep, the president said the "p" word, poverty. it appeared multiple times in
the president's talk in chicago. as of late, the president has been preoccupied with poverty than we have seen him in the past. in fact, we took a look at all of the state of the union addresses of the first term, and from the inauguration speech and this week's state of the union, he has mentioned poverty in the last four weeks than he has in the last four years. in my sit-down with senior adviser valerie jarrett, i asked her about this new item on president obama's agenda. >> well, the president has always been concerned with the poor, and it began when he was a community worker on the south side of chicago working with the workers who lost their job through the steel mills. his time throughout politics has been making sure that we are inclue inclusive, and that it is a land of equality and opportunity. now n the state of the union, he unveiled a new program to be starting to target 20 different
high poverty communities around the country, and focusing in a holistic way to provide the residents of the community into ladders of the middle-class. he has talked about growing the middle-class from the inside out and that means growing from the bottom-up and not the top-down. >> and he has, and yet when we did a little word count of the state of the union addresses, and this is the most clear discourse of poverty, itself, and so not just saying the middle-class or the working class, but clearly targeting the issue of the poor and particularly the working poor and laying out a policy proposal. it is because something has shifted for the president in the second term? >> no, it is a natural progression, and if you think of what he inherited when he took office, the banks around the country were on the brink of collapse, the stock market in a freefall, and economic crisis in the united states rippling around the world and he had to come in and take immediate steps, and many of the steps helped people who are out of work, extending the unemployment
insurance, and the earned income tax credit very important for the working poor and the child tax credit and the college affordability tax credit so people of modest means could send their children to college. so he has always had those fundamentals a of the widening approach as an opportunity for all american, but what you saw in terms of this speech in terms of the content is focusing on this program and the opportunity. >> is there something that we should know about president obama and his second term and those that will help the presidential watchers. >> well, people have asked a lot in terms of has he changed over the last four years and the first lady said it best in the convention speech e which is that the presidency has not changed him, but revealed him. i think that is true, and with four years, he has had a lot of experience and just as any of us when you take on a new job, you know more after four years than
when you started so i sense a degree of progression and helping people who have had a tough four year, but we have generated 6,000 jobs in the last 35 months and the automobile industry is back and he bet on them. a lot of people said don't do that. and we have ended the war in iraq and winding down the war in afghanistan, and he has done a great deal to pass the affordable health care act to make sure that americans have access to affordable health care. i think that his confidence that the vision is clear and the election is a clear choice that the american people had for the vision which is middle-class-out approach as opposed top-down, and the american people behind him not once but twice, to give him the confidence to push what he has heard from them that he wants. she is going to encourage congress as he has in the state of the union to stay focused in
growing the economy and create new jobs and provide those opportunities here at home. he said that engaging the people in that process is something he wants to do in the second term, and with the wind at his back, we are all still do many great things. >> joining us is dr. james martin, and dorian wells and ma mark and kathleen. >> well, i am very pleased that the show has talked about poverty for a year now as an issue. >> yes. it is. >> it is welcomed news and providing context before the wonky social science, it was the
used that america was the land of the opportunity and even if you were born poor, you could become the working rich. and so all of the great research shows that we are the least mobile society right now meaning that you are to be in the same socioeconomic status as the parents or dropback as was the case 30 or 40 years ago. >> and we have 47.9 million americans living in por ti and on the issue of mobility, 16 million children are live fwloeg poverty line. if they are not mobile and just talking about grace more than one-third of african-american and latino children are live blowing the poverty line and talking about country that is
more diverse. listen, i see in this moment something new, but i am w wondering if there is any possibility of bipartisanship to address poverty? >> well, i don't know, because listening to the state of the union address and trying to be as impartial as i could be -- >> i read the twitter feed, nancy. come on. >> look, the proposals that he was talking about were plain logical. and we are talking about the income es disparity that is getting worse and worse and if you invest in education and a head start and all of that and invest in health care and i think that if the health care and the affordable care act and getting the piecemeal bits through that he got through, but with the affordable care act, that ripples through poverty and people's opportunity. i was disheartened to see in some logical cases of republicans sitting on their hands or watching john boehner make those faces about like he had angina or something.
i don't understand. it is logic. >> and it feels like on one hand logic, but there is an ethical call here, and we were talking about the position of the catholic church which ends up aligning a way with conservative positions, but on this one, the catholic church as a world church has been to the left of much of the american political system and maybe a way to be imagining faith-based institutions to lead and building the bipartisan coalition and what it would look like? >> yes, because as you pointed out the pope is to the right of the redistribution, and the church has always been in the forefront of working with the poor. and i would hope that the religious issues in the church would move more to the middle to something like the poor rather than same-sex marriage. i am noticing that in the campaign it was middle-class,
middle-class and middle-class, so it is wonderful to be looking at people least among us, so it is a huge ethical issue for christians an anyone with a moral conscience. >> when we come back, i want to ask kayton dawson if he has any moral consciousness. no, no. and i want to see that the president doesn't do anything that is not strategic, so i wonder what if there is another more important strategy. and we will see if the "p" word is impacting the politics. and before we go, a shoutout to nerdland columnist who writes for the nation magazine, and he and his wife are celebrating the birth of their third child gracie. i have low testosterone. there, i said it.
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earth no one who works full time should have to live in poverty. >> that was president obama making one of four references to poverty in the state of the union this week. it with was, as we mentioned earli earlier, as many times as he used the word poverty as in all of the first-term state of the union addresses combined. so, kayton, this president is whatever else he is, he is strategic and political and understands the -- he is pragmatic, and so why does he think that talking poverty is goodegy right now? >> because he does not have to be re-elected. he is a marvelous politician, obviously, but he is also residing over 47 million people on food stamps and a lot of the things whether he created them or not, he has the luxury now being re-elected to talk about the matter of the base that
elected him. no matter the shrinking economy angsd policies that did not solve it and stimuluses that some people say did not work, but he can now and he has a rhetorical edge and the power of the advantage of the white house and he laid the marker down, and he has to do something about it. ? and i want to thread the needle, because on the one hand valerie jarrett said it is a deep ethical commitment on the part of the president and now you say, he does not have to be re-elect and the freedom to do it, okay. but in the scenter, there is alo the possibility that the president has to leave the party in good stead, and see that there is room to build the party particularly among white americans by talking about the inequality and poverty. >> it is not just among the white americans, but latinos as with well and he is laying a trap for the republican party. the republican party thinking if
we doing? on the latino immigration issues, then they will care a lot about these issues, so he is laying a trap for the party. >> and they support that, they a are going to look like anti-everything. and anti-the latino community, but i also don't think it is the base. i agree with dorian and i want to expand that, because when you look at it between the occupy wall street and other political economic movements that have come up, i think that most people think that income fairness is fair, and it is moral and that people should make a living wage and have the union protections and have health care. i do. >> on that point, there is one word if the president wants to solve poverty there is another word that he has to say, unions. unions are the best anti-poverty programs in the country, and he will have to say something about the labor union. >> and a lot like the catholic
church, because even if you are not a union member, you are impacted by the choices of the unions. and wages will rise in more unionized cities. >> let me tell you the inside thing here, the president after the first term went to data mining and we didn't pay attention, and warned the republican party and my friends there. the president has not closed the offices. his offices are open, so when you hear the messages now, his social media and this is the brilliance of his side. his social media and he has found a way to fund them and the organizations are out there, and he won't let the 2014 midterm slip by. this is all calculated all down and it is bigger than the base, and this is going to be argued throughout the session, and for my republican friends there is an organization that did not quit or stop, and he will be going to battle in the midterms and talking about these issues. >> it is now a 501 organization,
and it is first time that the democrats have been organizing from the ground-up. i love the point about the latino voters, because they are the fastest growing catholic population, and think about all of the things coming together, and if you end up with a pope who is talk about income inequality and poverty as a fundamental ethical question and a president in the u.s. doing something about it, and woe is to the republican party gerrymandering or not. >> give him the benefit of the doubt, because he has clearly said i want the take care of the poor. it is not just an issue for the poor, but even the wealthiest meshes should be concerned and the people on the streets and poor. i don't know anyone, and how could you have a conscience and not care about these things. this is for all americans and
all ages and all wealth levels. >> you leave 16 million children in poverty out of the ladder, and remember, he was standing in chicago about this poverty question in part around gun violence. he saying that economic opportunity is part of what keeps us safe in a community. >> and for example, what did the president do for the education in the first term? >> race to the top. >> how successful has it been? >> i have angst with race to the top and no child left behind and we are waiting to have the education conversation, but he has done as much as any president. i think it is interesting that the republicans talk about that, because the presidents are against federal intervention as they see as a locally-based issue, but that said, you are fun. thank you to father jim martin and also to kayton dawson and the other two sticking around. up next, what i do for fun on the road in memphis, tennessee.
it has become clear to me in the last few months that melissa harris-perry is not a human being, but a sigh borg or bionic woman which is the only explanation that she can do al of the things that she can do and do them well. i say congratulations to the staff, the human staff of the melissa harris-perry show and residual congratulations to the people who invented the sigh borging that is melissa harris-perry. new olay fresh effects' vava vivid's vibrating bristles twist and turn for a va va voom clean so sparkling fresh! new olay fresh effects. is efficiently absorbed in small continuous amounts. citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d with efficient absorption in one daily dose. citracal slow release.
the man of the civil rights movement tend to dominate the historical movement of racial equality in the country and men like reverend martin luther king jr. captureded the camera's attention out front, but just as sure as there was a civil rights movement there were women who made it possible. recently i visited the freedom sisters exhibit at the national
civil rights museum in memphis, tennessee. i want to start with a little bit of a discussion about ms. myrlie evers williams. why so important to have her included here. >> well, one reason that she was included here is to show young people that you, too, can lead. you can be as for of change, and does it not have to be somebody from centuries ago, because there is work to be done. >> to walk in this space, hayed to walk past the motel where dr. king stood and was assassinated, and i had to stop and step back because it impacts you. >> yes. >> when that assassin took dr. king, he also created coretta scott king in many ways s. that part of how some of them come to us? >> i think so.
i absolutely think so that history sort of thrust them into the limelight even when they have been in traditionally roles of mother, and of course, known in the african-american community, but it thrust them on to the world stage. >> you can't pick favorites in the civil rights era, but if i had to pick a favorite, it is undoubtedly idab. wells, and i think it is because she was a journalist and a social scientist and she believed that you could use data and evidence to organize, and also, she was kind of fancy. i mean, she used to, you know, buy beautiful clothes and sometimes spend the whole budget on a nice bag and forget to -- i mean, i love her for the humanity of what she did. >> yes, and at an early age, she took on so much responsibility, and that is what is wanting you the respect her more.
at age 16 to have four or more siblings to be responsible for and she raised them as she stayed focus on the work on behalf of the race. >> baker was a part of every single civil rights movement, and there is no part of it that she does not engage in part of. >> and yes, and the southern christian leadership conference and martin luther king recogn e recognized the skills and the ability and she is one of the few women who is part of the organization that helped to lead that organization and really was instrumental in introducing young people to sclc, and sclc to them. >> i want to talk about the jelly bean jar, because we have done work with the jelly beans on my show in a couple of ways. i said, there is something funny about me for counting jelly beans, because jelly bean jars were part of how people were disenfranchised in the south, so
young people, when the kids come and see the jelly beans, what do think they it is about and what do you teach them about? >> well, young people are not sure about this, and we are glad to have the interactive here to learn about it, because the idea that a person would have to guess how many beans are in a jar, which is what this is all about and it is a kind of thing that black voters or those who wanted to vote were confronted with at registrar's office. >> where does this go see it, touch it, fill it museum it in the world of e-mail and ipads and why do i have to stand in memphis, and why can't i just see ella jo baker? >> well, you need to understand the story behind the grandma's quilt and the story behind the cast iron pot. when you look at grand dad's ticket stub or the ticket stub, you understand what they did
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looks like we're going to need to order more agaves... ah! oh! ow! ... and more bandages. that's powerful. shareable data plus unlimited talk and text. now save $50 on a droid razr maxx hd by motorola. month here on mhp, we have been mi -- highlighting people whose stories are not known or misunderstood. perhaps you know john robson who was a champion of working people using his celebrity to speak out against racism and in support of labor rights, but today, we are focused on another robson and not paul, but essie. yolanda goodwin robson was a political activist in her own right before going on the pursue
a ph.d. in anthropology, and she was the first women chemist to work in new york city's presbyterian hospital. before plessy v. ferguson made it the lu of the land, essie was a vital part of the equality in america. she was a crucial actor in anti-colonial movements in america. the relationship between paul and essie was complicated, but shared by devotion to justice. to join us to talk about all things essie is author of the new book "eslanda." i am so excited that you are
here. >> i am pleased to be here. >> what do we need to nknow abot this woman? is. >> well, in some ways she was a biographer's dream and filmmaker's dream, because she lived a large political life, large professional life, and traveled to 40 countries on five continents at a time when women's lives were prescribed. she went to see mao, and went alongside paul to take a stand against fascism, and took her young son to sub saharan africa, and for those of us who jet around these days we forget how arduous it is. >> she was on a ship with her son. >> yes, and tiny planes skipping across the african continent with her son. she lived a bold and brazened life, but a life of principle. >> and that is what is fascinating to me, because on the one hand she has enormous
privilege as an african-american woman in this moment, and yet continues to feel that privilege should always be put to work particularly for the black die s a. >> this is someone who is a wife of an international celebrity and beautiful home in connecticut at one point and travel around the world, but she leveraged the privilege and the celebrity to speak out against injustice in the world and particularly colonialism. she became a journalist, and paid a price for it in the mccarthy era. >> uncompromising in the politics, but quite complicated in her relationship with robeson himself, and talking to me about how she navigates the marriage in con ttext of her political
work. >> well, they had an open marriage after the mid-1930s. at that time, it was both unusual but not unique. some people in the arts had those kinds of relationships and arrangements and 40-year partnership and not without difficulties, but what began as a passionate love story evolved into a collegial relationship and commitment to one another with the ideas and the values of a comradeship and deep and profound and genuine e relationship, but it was complicated. >> only th that, i want to pulla little bit to the rest of the panel, and when i was reminded how frequently we get women into the public realm in part through the partnerships and the relationships of powerful men. i was thinking of hillary clinton who obviously comes to the national public stage through her role as first lady. i was thinking of the myrlie
evers who came to us on the show as the widow of metger evers. is this how women of prominent came to voice? >> well, the women who had those power seized them and took the opportunity. and i was thinking of eleanor roosevelt and when you were thinking of paul and essie's relationship, because that sounds how their evolved into the collegial and very respectful relationship, and eleanor used that privilege and really did try to open up pathways and which i think is pretty great to use that opportunity to make it into something good. >> i have a question, because as you were describing this, there is a tradition in american life of black celebrity leaders becoming political voices and not on quote, unquote black issues, but variety of images. mohammad muhammad ali took a great risk
to his career and he was not utilizing the profit yield of his image, but he was as you described with with the robesons to take that to do something broader in politic, but to pick one, and beyonce at the super bowl and has the hbo show this week. >> just to pick one. >> just to pick one that i am obsessed with, but it is fair to say that jay and beyonce have stayed in a safe and mainstream democratic politics role and why thauld coy do tremendous loi more if they wanted to take up more issues, they could, but they can't because that are a brand. so if you pick up a pepsi brand, you cannot be anti-war. >> well, i had not thought of essie and beyonce in the same category, but i am going to say she was fierce and gorgeous, but the comparison might stop there. two things that i'm reminded of with the roosevelts and the
contemporary folks. the robesons were insooiders in the art community, but outsiders because of the internationalist and the left wing politics and in a sense got blacklisted in terms of history and paul literally got blacklisted in terms of the career. so they had to be a united front from the margins and from the outside starting in the mccarthy era, but the question of internationalism and black celebrities on the international stage. eslanda robeson left in 1930 and returned in 1939 and left as a negro and came back as internationalist, and world citizen and black diaspra and she knew the heads of states to
people who were shaped by her classroom experience. >> i want to borrow that, barbara, she left as a negro and came back as an influential political woman. and now we want to check in with alex witt, and what is going on? >> a new reported threat with north korea today. i will talk to bill richardson who just visited that country, and what did he learn with testing in regard to the nuclear w weapon. >> and what you might expect from the aftermath of what happened. and you will hear from the uncle of oscar how president ob fulfilling his promise in a bigger way than most people give him credit for. back to you. >> thank you, alex. after the break, we're going to talk about a 101-year-old who
is running four hours a day. our foot soldier of the week is the determined tornado and he's next. this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. with command strips from 3m. stick it to eliminate odors anywhere. like this trashcan. in like a flower field. aw man! [ screams ] [ laughs ] stick it almost anywhere. new febreze stick & refresh. breathe happy.
a foot soldier, we're speaking metaphorically, about those in the trenches, fighting for justice and equality. but occasionally, a more literal interpretation applies. our foot soldier is believed to be the world's oldest marathon runner. at the age of 101, fauja singh is set to hang up his running shoes at the end of the month. the man known as the turbaned tornado began running marathons at the tender age of 89. as a way to cope with his grief over the death of his wife and his eldest child. in 2011, he became the oldest runner to finish a marathon when
he crossed the finish line at the toronto waterfront marathon six hours behind the winner. he's run at least eight marathons and along the way, set numerous records for his age group. he's starred in an adidas ad campaign, carried the olympic torch and raised thousands of dollars for charity. but just last month, he participated in a mini marathon in india to raise awareness about women's rights in the wake of a fatal rape in india that sent shockwaves around the world. singh was inspired to participate in the race because of the women in his life. he said, i am pained to listen that my daughters and granddaughters and great granddaughters are no longer safe. while some have called for the death penalty for those arrested in the case, singh's race focused on the future, calling instead for social change. singh's last marathon will be on
february 24th, just five weeks shy of his 102nd birthday. but he's not giving up his beloved sport entirely. singh calls running his life and says he will continue to run at least four hours a day to inspire the masses. so for inspiring us with every step and for proving that endurance knows no age limit and that the race for justice is never over, we choose fauja singh as our foot soldier. now, i may not be running when i'm 101, but i do hope to follow singh's example next month. i'm going to be running the d.c. half marathon as part of the human rights campaign's athletes for equality team. and i'll be telling you more about my running adventures in the next month. as singh reminds us, when you step out for equality, we all win. and that is our show for today. thank you to our guests. thanks to you at home for watching. see you tomorrow morning, 10:00 a.m. eastern for the one-year anniversary celebration of nerdland continuing.
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